Last Friday (March 27th), the U.S. House of Representatives passed a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package bill, which was quickly signed into law by President Trump. The newly enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (a.k.a. CARES Act) takes unprecedented steps toward providing a safety net for self-employed musicians and music industry workers during the ongoing “gig economy” hiatus.
As any avid concert-goer will tell you, however, the economy surrounding any given show is much broader than the people officially working to put the show on. A vocal contingent of “lot workers” have now banded together to introduce an additional aid proposal dubbed, the Working On Overhauling Kind Society Act (a.k.a. the WOOKS Act).
The proposed legislation would provide financial aid to everyone from dollar water hustlers to crystal vendors and everyone in between. In addition to offering direct financial relief to parking lot purveyors of grilled cheese sandwiches, heady veggie burritos, lukewarm IPAs, shoddily blown glass pipes, and overpriced Pretty Lights pins, the proposed WOOKS Act would provide no-interest loans to semi-pro lot athletes whose various competitions have been postponed. Lot competitions covered by this portion of the bill include cornhole, Hacky Sack, and “Bro, watch how fast I shotgun this beer.” The proposed WOOKS Act would also apply a six-month leniency period for all outstanding ground score royalty payments.
One of the bill’s main advocates is a GA-based man known only as “Big Country” who primarily makes his living “slinging flower on Shakedown.” As Mr. Country noted during a press junket, “Y’all know I’m gonna be out here grindin’ either way, but all of us on lot been hit hard by all these canceled shows. We need to put these measures in place to stem the widespread panic incited by Widespread Panic postponing their Chicago run.”
Notably absent from consideration for aid under the proposed WOOKS. Act are the Nitrous Mafia, who were reportedly still in the process of negotiating the terms of their inclusion in the bill with its sponsor, Rep Dwight Evans [D-PA]. When reached for comment on the status of the negotiations with WOOKS grassroots organizers, a representative from the Nitrous Mafia confirmed that their official position continues to be “no deals.”